Navigating India’s Policy Landscape

Session Report
Reet Lath

The inaugural session of the ‘Fundamentals of Public Policy – Cohort 2.0’ was organized by the Center for the Study of Finance and Economics (CSFE), IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi on March 1st, 2024. 

The session convened a diverse group of policymakers, scholars, and practitioners under the esteemed guidance of Professor Mukul Asher. As the session chair, Professor Asher initiated the proceedings with a gracious welcome, extending his gratitude to all participants for their attendance and emphasizing the significance of the occasion. He underscored the unique opportunity presented by the Fundamentals of Public Policy Cohort Two program and commended IMPRI for its commitment to delivering timely and relevant programs to the public.

In his opening remarks, Professor Asher set the stage for an engaging and insightful discussion by delving into the essence of public policy education. He highlighted the distinction between academic degrees and the embodiment of educated behavior, asserting that true educational attainment lies in the latter. Professor Asher stressed the importance of practical knowledge application, emphasizing the value of empirical studies and local context considerations in informing effective policy formulation and implementation.

Recent Developments in India’s Economic Landscape

The session then transitioned into a comprehensive exploration of recent developments in India’s economic and policy landscape. Professor Asher meticulously covered a wide array of topics, providing participants with invaluable insights into critical factors shaping the nation’s trajectory. He discussed recent reforms pertaining to land, labor, and capital, shedding light on the implications for India’s economic growth and development.

Furthermore, Professor Asher offered a nuanced analysis of the emerging focus on digital infrastructure and its transformative potential. He highlighted India’s commitment to environmental responsibility, citing specific initiatives aimed at reducing energy intensity and promoting sustainable development. Professor Asher also provided valuable insights into the geopolitical dimensions of India’s military spending, emphasizing the strategic considerations guiding policy decisions in this domain.

The Role of Sound Fiscal Management and Policy Reforms

During a substantial segment of the session, Professor Asher delved into an in-depth examination of the formation and objectives of the 16th Finance Commission. This segment underscored the commission’s pivotal role in shaping fiscal policy and resource allocation between the union and states, emphasizing its significance in determining the financial framework that underpins various governmental activities. Professor Asher facilitated an engaging and thought-provoking dialogue with participants, encouraging them to explore the broader societal implications of fiscal reforms. 

Participants actively discussed the implications of fiscal policies on various sectors of society, including healthcare, education, infrastructure, and social welfare. Through this discourse, the session highlighted the imperative of sound fiscal management in driving inclusive and sustainable economic growth, stressing the need for prudent fiscal policies that balance economic growth with social equity and environmental sustainability. 

Throughout the session, Professor Asher fostered an interactive and intellectually stimulating environment, encouraging participants to critically analyze and reflect on the implications of recent developments for public policy and governance in India. He challenged participants to consider the complex interplay between economic, social, and environmental factors in shaping policy outcomes, emphasizing the need for holistic and evidence-based policy approaches.


In conclusion, Professor Asher reiterated the importance of evaluating the program’s value at the end and encouraged participants to apply their learnings in their respective fields. He expressed optimism for the future of public policy in India, underscoring the transformative potential of continuous learning and adaptation in navigating the dynamic policy landscape.

The session concluded on a note of inspiration and empowerment, leaving participants equipped with valuable insights and perspectives to drive positive change through informed and effective policy action. As they departed, participants expressed their appreciation for the enriching experience and their commitment to applying the knowledge gained to contribute to the advancement of public policy in India and beyond.

Acknowledgment: Reet Lath is a Research Intern at IMPRI.

Read more event reports of IMPRI here:

Strategic Policy Formulation and Governance: Navigating Societal Progress


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